Image 1 & 4: Inuit Games and Contests: the Clifford E. Lee Collection of Prints by Helen Collinson
Image 2 &3: Report of Canadian Arctic Expedition 1913-18 by D. Jenness (Thank you Camilla Gryski @camillagryski for letting me reach this book.)
Image 5: String Figures: the Collections of Harry Smith Catalogue Raisonné.
23 June 2022
“String figures in which a string is passed around and between the fingers to form different patterns are known throughout the world. Today the form is known as cat’s cradle and is a popular children’s game. Among primitive peoples the string figures had magical overtones and were often related to myths. The same figures are found in different parts of the world but their names are drawn from the environment: thus there are palms from the tropics, coyotes from the American west, and seals and polar bears from the north. […]many stories are told about this pirit of string figures, which could even become the guardian spirit (What spirit is living in (your) string(s)?) of a shaman. In the Alaskan belief, “there is a definite spirit associated with string figures”—the same in a shamanistic seance.” […] “According to Captain Corner, the natives of Iglulik play cat’s cradles in the fall when the sun is going south, to catch it in the meshes of the sring and so prevent its disappearance.” Extracted from Explorations in Canadian Folklore by Edith Fowke & Carole. H. Carpenter
~~~~~ In Inuit, string figures games are called Ajaraaq or Ajjagatak.
(It’s a shame that all the books on Inuit string figures culture I’ve got access to are written and studed by non-Inuit people, mostly settlers in North America, who of course admired the culture so extended the admiration into anthropological studies on the culture.)